Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dan Seals proposal for Gas Prices and a Response

In a message dated 5/27/2008 2:27:50 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:

* Putting more oil on the market. Diverting oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will help accomplish that. The Reserve is our "rainy day" fund for oil and it is already more than 97% full. Putting that oil on the market will knock off as much as a quarter a gallon.

* Investigating price-gouging charges. Even as consumers have faced record gas prices, the profits of the top five oil companies have hit record levels. While I have no problem with companies making a profit, we should give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to investigate whether the big oil companies are engaging in price gouging.

Sorry Dan, but you are missing the boat on this one.
You are sounding a little to much like those famous panders of primaries past, John McCain and Hillary Clinton; what is next, offering a summer "gas tax holiday"? Let's show a little backbone here.
Leave the oil reserves where they belong, for a true emergency, not trying to shave off an increase in the price of gas which, when adjusted for inflation, is about where it should be compared to 30 years ago. Checked the price of gas in Europe lately?
Today's posted price in the Netherlands: 12.00 US dollars a gallon. France: 10.50 US dollars a gallon.
And do you think there are all the SUVs tooling around the back roads in Europe? Hummmmm. Do you think there is anything we can learn from this? How about if we maybe tax the dickens out of gas until it gets up to a more robust 8 to 10 dollars a gallon or more. That, and only that, will truly put a dent in emissions by significantly reducing driving of the tanks that pass for cars in this glutinous country of ours. If people insist on driving those things fine, but let them pay for them.
And let's not try to blame the oil companies for this in some populist hysteria in an attempt to shift blame to something more comfortable. Ultimately supply and demand will dictate prices and trying to paint the blame for our insatiable appetite for fossil fuels on the providers of it won't solve anything...only curbing our appetite through financial disincentives will.

Bruce Seitzer
1607 Elmwood Ave.
Wilmette, Il 60091

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